Sunday, January 24, 2021

How Close Can Fruit Trees Be Planted Together?

How close can fruit trees be planted together? It depends on how big you want your fruit trees to grow. With regular pruning you can control the height and width of your trees. Many gardeners are surprised to learn that semi-dwarf trees will grow over 20 ft tall if they are allowed to do so. If you have a small space, full dwarf fruit trees are available and will top out at about 10 feet.

When fruit trees are planted next to each other, we recommend that they are allowed to "kiss but not hug." What this means is that the canopies should barely touch, but not grow into each other. This will maximize the amount of solar energy that each tree can collect without interfering with each other.

Two Apple Trees Planted Too Close To Each Other
Fruit Trees Should Be Allowed to "Kiss, Not Hug"

So what happens when you have two trees that have been planted too close and the canopies are completely intertwined? In these situations it is important to treat the two canopies as one. Imagine the two trees only having one trunk. How would you prune that tree? Make sure you are thinning and tipping water sprouts, removing broken, dead and diseased branches, and eliminating crossing and parallel branches. If every branch on your trees are receiving sunlight and have plenty of space between each branch you will have a healthy, productive canopy.

Apple Trees in an Orchard
Capture as Much Solar Energy as Possible

Thanks for reading! For more information about fruit tree care and pruning, please join our Backyard Fruit Grower's Facebook Group and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. If you are new to pruning, take our 9 Lesson Fruit Tree Pruning Course.